About

Hey Ashers! is an epistolary book-critique blog written (in part) to entertain my three best friends: Ashers, Lizzy, and Katie.

Liam

I have a Bachelor’s in Creative Writing and a Master’s in Literature (emphasis on children’s and young adult), and am obsessed with all things YA, fantasy, and paranormal. I’m especially interested in minority and LGBTQIA protagonists in stories that don’t make a big deal of their minority/LGBTQIA status, anything to do with dragons and gryphons, and all manner of liminal characters (because, seriously, those things are the best).

Robin McKinley is my all-time favorite author, but Susan Cooper and Maggie Stiefvater are right on her heels.

My reading is assisted by Sophie and Augustine, who believe that no book is complete without a cat on top of it, and my husband, a historian and all-around knowledgeable guy.

The Friends

I try to write each critique to the friend who’ll most appreciate/rage at that particular book with me.

Ashers is an opera singer, and into fantasy, angst, temptations towards evil, silliness, and smut.

Lizzy (who passed away in December 2014) was an ocean girl, and an enthusiast of folklore, magic, local/non-adventure stories, and the importance of emotional ties to more than just your weapon.

Katie is a scientist of great sciences, and interested in exploring identity and society; she’s a fan of SciFi, dystopia, issue novels, LGBT stories, and fictional science that actually makes sense.

The Critiques

Although the critiques are written as entertainment, they’re also—really, primarily—to help my own novel-writing endeavors; reading tons and being critical of what’s read is vital to writing well. My critiques tend to focus on writing style, plot development, pacing, character arcs, worldbuilding, in-story logic, and little details that casual readers might not care about. So, sorry if I bore you with nitpicking!

Books are rated on both how well they’re written and how much they affect me. A fairly well-written book that put me in a blind rage with its stupid and offensive view of romance will earn fewer stars than a book with technical flaws but a powerful message; however, serious or numerous technical flaws will prevent even the most moving of books from rising above three stars.

You can generally summarize my ratings as:

0 Stars (DNF)Did Not Finish
0.5 StarsInsulting and/or Infuriating
1 starVery Bad
1.5 StarsPretty Bad
2 starsEh
2.5 StarsKind Of Enjoyable
3 StarsEnjoyable
3.5 StarsRather Good
4 StarsQuite Good
4.5 StarsAwesome
5 starsLife-Changingly Amazing

(Five stars are reserved for only those books that have changed my life or significantly affected my writing.)

I am currently not open to review requests.

To see which books I’ve reviewed so far, check out the list by title, or marvel at the index’s other methods of categorization.

 

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